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Ukrainian church leader Patriarch Filaret gets coronavirus virus after blaming gays for pandemic

Christian Fernsby |
Top Ukrainian religious figure Patriarch Filaret has contracted coronavirus after blaming gay people for the disease.

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Topics: UKRAINIAN   

The 91-year-old, who is the Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate, is currently in a stable condition being treated in hospital, with Ukrainian website 11.2 international also reporting he has pneumonia.

Filaret's church confirmed the coronavirus diagnosis in a Facebook post.

"We inform that during planned testing, His Holiness Patriarch Filaret of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine tested positive for Covid-19," the statement said. "Now His Holiness Bishop is undergoing treatment at a hospital."

Filaret caused controversy earlier this year after he made comments about the coronavirus being a result of gay marriage.

He told Ukrainian national TV network Channel 4 in March that the pandemic was "God's punishment for the sins of men, the sinfulness of humanity".

"First of all, I mean same-sex marriage," Filaret added.